Amoeblog

Wu-Tang Clan's $5 Million Album Personifies Music Industry's Unpredictable, Ever Shifting New Business Model

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2014 02:37pm | Post a Comment
"Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin ta fuck with" - those famous well-worn, two-decade old Wu-Tang Clan lyrics are proving to be most accurate with the latest news on the Staten Island (aka Shaolin) hip-hop crew who last week announced that for their next album (The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) that they would only be manufacturing one single (physical) copy of the album.

That sole physical LP copy, to be released in addition to the later unlimited digital download version of this brand new album that was recorded in secrecy, would be auctioned off for what they hoped would be a final bid of a million dollars or more. The 31-track, 120 minute album will be a double vinyl set and reportedly packaged in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. Most intriguing is the ambitious figure of a million dollars or more that the group said they hoped to get. That was last week and I thought it was outlandish and unrealistic amount of money that in no way would they ever get. But I was wrong - very wrong.

As reported by Billboard magazine yesterday the Wu got offered a lot more than one million dollars. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," the group's RZA told the music magazine. "So far, $5 million is the biggest number," he continued. "I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business, sending me a lot of good will. It's been real positive." Real positive is an understatement. That's absolutely incredible and a hell of a lot more money (provided this is not some hoax) than the Wu-Tang would ever make from selling an album via the traditional channels of releasing it via a major label like RCA who distributed Loud Records - their original label on which they released their hip-hop classic, 1993 landmark debut Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

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Hip-Hop DJ Heaven In Hollywood Today with RockWalk DJ Inductions +Hollywood GC DJ Concert

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2014 08:53am | Post a Comment
It's gonna be hip-hop DJ heaven in Hollywood today over by the Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. (not too far from Amoeba Hollywood) where both the big RockWalk induction ceremony at 3pm will take place followed at 5pm by the Hollywood GC DJ event with a list of great DJs appearing and performing. The free two-part event begins at 3pm (but get there earlier to both get parking a secure a good spot) with an induction ceremony of the first ever hip-hop DJ artists to the RockWalk:  Grand Wizzard Theodore, GrandMixer DXT and Grandmaster Flash. Then at 5pm another turntablism legend DJ Jazzy Jeff will both perform and host a killer DJ concert featuring sets by such other greats as D-Styles, DJ Nu-Mark, DJ Rhettmatic, Mr Choc, P-Trix, Shortee, The Gaslamp Killer, Mike Relm, and Dynamix. The event ends at 11pm.
Unveiled in 1985, the RockWalk, which is located in front of the Sunset Blvd Guitar Center in Hollywood, is a musical alternative to the nearby movie themed Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater. With its mission statement, that is literally written in stone (see pic right), of being for "individuals who have made significant contributions to The Music Business" the RockWalk celebrate rock, jazz, blues, and (few) hip-hop artists are all honored in handprints and autographs in cement. Additionally in the window of Guitar Center they've  guitars and other memorabilia once owned by musicians honored on the RockWalk. The long list of those honored to date includes Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Les Paul, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Todays three inductees Flash, DXT, and Theodore, who will be introduced by DJ Qbert, have each long believed in and envisioned the turntable as an instrument. Even back four decades ago when no one in the mainstream took hip-hop DJ'ing (long before the word turntablism had been coined to define the sub genre - by DJ Babu in 1995), or even hip-hop itself, seriously these three artists had the foresight to project ahead and imagine what the turntable as instrument would become what it is today and that the practitioner of that instrument be given the same respect as any musician would.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.28.14: New Releases, Swampkat (RIP), Too $hort Bowling, DMC 2014, Qbert in NYC, Ras Kass in San Jose

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2014 12:28pm | Post a Comment
    

Shout out to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for running down, in the above video, all the new and recent hip-hop releases to arrive at Amoeba lately in both CD and vinyl formats including Open Mike Eagle's Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes(on vinyl) and As Is on CD by longtime prolific Bay Area hip-hop soldier White Mic of Bored Stiff fame who, as E-Lit notes, also has a forthcoming release - a previous collaboration with Z-Man - now coming on vinyl. All of the releases showcased by E-Lit above can be found at Amoeba Music in the three retail stores (Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood) and in most, but not all, cases online at the Amoeba.com store.

Hip-hop concerts, parties, and events from the Bay to LA and beyond in the week ahead include Too $hort doing a most worthwhile charity event that offers fans a chance to go both bowling and into the studio with the godfather of Bay Area rap while simultaneously helping out the East Oakland self-described multi-service community transformation hub Youth UpRising that Short has long been involved in.  The ongoing Too $hort Charity Buzz auction fund drive, that offers the final winner "one hour of recording time in the state of the art music studio at Youth UpRising, a 25,000 sq. ft. community transformation center in the heart of East Oakland. Following the recording session, join Too $hort for a game of bowling at Lucky Strike, a stylish bowling lounge in San Francisco," is currently up to $850 with the estimated value on this item listed as $2000. Bid here and help a worthy cause and yourself at the same time. Auction ends March 11th.  In the South Bay tonight, Saturday March 1st, LA rap vet Ras Kass along with Indjnous headlines a show with Motion Man (whose classic 1993 song/video "Mo Like Flows On" is below), Jeff Turner, Opski Chan, Audio Dru, plus DJ Abraham and others. Show at Back Bar 418 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113. 9pm 21+ $10 more info

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DJ Qbert, plus Dan The Automator, P.E.A.C.E., Bambu, and DJ Shortkut + host Fran Boogie tonight in SF Promises To Be Off The Hook

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2014 04:58pm | Post a Comment
Some are calling tonight's star-studded hip-hop show at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with West Coast underground hip-hop icons DJ Qbert, Dan The Automator, P.E.A.C.E., DJ Shortkut, and Bambu - a comeback or (due to the first two listed acts) a kind of a Dr. Octagon two-thirds part reunion (referencing the landmark 1996 Bay Area produced Dr. Octagonecologyst album produced by The Automator, featuring Qbert, and re-catapulting its microphone star Kool Keith to post Ultramagetnic MC's solo fame). But to paraphrase the lyrics of that well worn LL Cool J song; don't call it a comeback, they've been here before. In fact they never went away. Sure there was a long gap between Dan The Automator's Deltron 3030 projects (his 2000 collab with Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Kid Koala that only enjoyed a sequel last year) and an even wider one between Qbert's last official album (1998's Wave Twisters) and his soon-to-drop 2014 two-album set Extraterrestria and GalaXXXian for which tonight's concert is a special pre-release party/concert for.

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NAMM 2014 Report with Shing02

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2014 12:38pm | Post a Comment

NAMM 2014 Digest [HD] by Shing02 for Amoeblog

For the fifth year in a row hip-hop artist/producer and product designer Shing02 took time out of his busy schedule to produce a video report exclusively for the Amoeblog from the annual NAMM trade show, which has the distinction of being the world's largest trade-only event for the music products industry. Around this time of the year via his NAMM video reports, the super-talented Japanese artist previews all the latest drool-worthy new gadgets, instruments, and sundry music themed electronic inventions months or longer in advance of when they are scheduled to hit the marketplace.

As well as keyboards, guitars, and other instruments, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) features lots of DJ-related equipment. Shing02's been attending the annual mega-scale music product trade shows annual event that takes place every January at the Anaheim Convention Center (across from Disneyland) for over a dozen years now. NAMM is closed to the general public, but Shing02's longtime relationship with Vestax (for whom he designed the unique Fader Board a decade ago and still consults for) gets him a coveted badge to attend the trade event. I have always wanted to attend NAMM and this year, thanks to Thud Rumble's (YogaFrog and DJ Qbert's company) affiliation with the DJ-Tech company, was fortunate to cop a badge to admit entrance.

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